The Sights And Sounds Of SXSW


Before the plane lifted off for a flight back to NYC from Austin’s South By Southwest Music Festival, the airline attendant joked via loudspeaker: “You all look so hip and cool.” Some passengers laughed, but probably no one disagreed. How could a flight with members of TV on the Radio be anything else? In fact,the packed plane felt like a microcosm of the festival itself, where thousands of bands, industry executives, celebrities and music fans worked and played for five days at parties in clubs, bars and makeshift venues like parking garages.

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Foo Fighters Documentary Premiere Followed By Surprise Show

Foo Fighters: Back and Forth premieres on VH1 April 8.

Foo Fighters: Back and Forth, which premiered to a cheering audience last night at SXSW in Austin, opens with Dave Grohl looking back at his time as Nirvana’s drummer. He says the trio knew something was “weird” when jocks started showing up for shows, but “we never thought we’d sell a million albums.” Of course, this was before Nevermind sold more than 26 million copies and permanently altered rock’s DNA. The most enjoyable aspect of this rock doc, directed by Oscar-winner James Moll, is watching the very likable Grohl strike rock gold twice — no small feat for a teen who grew up touring under miserly conditions in the ’80s hardcore scene.  In this clip, Dave, one of rock’s greatest drummers, explains how he came to create the Foos in the wake of Kurt Cobain‘s suicide:

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by (@unclegrambo)

Video Premiere: Foo Fighters, “Rope”

After we whet your appetite this morning with a special 30-second sneak preview of the new Foo Fighters single, “Rope,” now it’s time to feast your eyes on the whole video. Don’t adjust your tracking, either; the video’s jumpy and primary color laced visual aesthetic is all part of director Dave Grohl’s master plan to pay homage to the VHS era of his youth*.

Not only is this song another in a long line of propulsive and catchy rock tracks from the Foos, this video represents a reunion on a few different levels. In addition to Grohl, drummer Taylor Hawkins, guitarist Chris Shiflett and bassist Nate Mendel, you old school Foo Fighters fans will also recognize that guitarist Pat Smear is back in the mix these days. As if that wasn’t exciting enough, it’s also worth noting that Grohl and Smear’s Nirvana bandmate, Krist Novoselic, makes an appearance on the Foos’ forthcoming LP, Wasted Light (although he’s not in this video). Grohl also reunited with producer Butch Vig while recording this album, the man who was responsible for turning Nirvana from local Seattle heroes into international grunge gods with his flawless production work on their seminal LP, Nevermind.

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by (@unclegrambo)

Special Sneak Preview: Foo Fighters, “Rope”

Hot off the presses! We’ve got the video premiere of “Rope” by the Foo Fighters coming your way tonight at 7:54 p.m. — not 7:53 or 7:55, mind you, but 7:54! — but this 30-second sneak just landed in our lap and couldn’t resist giving you a look at it.

If the video seems like it’s got an early ’80s vibe to it, that’s because it was totally meant to. Lead Foo Dave Grohl directed the video and told our friends over at MTV that “I directed it and I really wanted it to have that old VHS look to it. Because VHS tape does weird things to color and definition, and it just looks … like VHS. And so, the ['Rope' video] is on VHS too [and] it definitely has a vibe. Just the look of the tape.” Well Dave, you certainly achieved your goal! We’re just glad you didn’t use Betamax.

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First Look: VH1′s Rock Honors

Rockers like Foo FightersDave Grohl and the Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne payed tribute to The Who this weekend along with reality TV stars like Lauren Conrad and Kim Kardashian. Below, check pics from Rock Honors’ red carpet and Intermix’s 3rd Annual VH1 Rock Honors VIP Party. Tune in Thursday, July 17 to watch the big show.

Related Content:
Rock Honors 2008 Web site


Rock Honors: Soundchecks and Foos and Lips, Oh My!

The stage is being set for Rock Honors: The Who at the Pauley Pavilion. I’m lucky enough to have an all-access pass, and walking around a day before the show, you can tell something big is in the air. The monitors are being tested and the psychedelic images are flowing ?- giant pulsating speakers, trees, planets — I see it all, man (and it totally makes sense). OK, so there may be one or two acid flashbacks in the course of reporting, but this is the Who, and if you?ve seen the movie Tommy, we should be on the same page.

To find out what’s going on behind the scenes the day before the big show, take the jump.

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Incubus Hits Rock Honors: The Who

Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters jumped in early. Then the Flaming Lips said hell, yeah. Now Incubus has been added to this year’s Rock Honors festivities. So prepare to be overwhelmed on July 17. The alt-metal juggernaut that features Brandon Boyd up front is skilled at mowing down everything in its path, much like the Who themselves. See if they bring a metal slant to some of the band’s classics.

Here’s an songlist of their best videos. Crank it up and get psyched for their Rock Honors performance.


See The Who: Rock Honors Tix On Sale!


Get ready – this year’s VH1 Rock Honors show is celebrating the Who in all their explosive glory. Pearl Jam, Foo Fighters, and the Flaming Lips will be on hand to rock the house at UCLA next month. We’re airing the show on July 17. But if you want to go to the live event on July 12, here’s the 411 on getting yourself into Pauley Pavillion.

This Friday, June 6, tickets go on sale to members of the Who’s Fan Club. One day later (June 7), members of both the Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam fan clubs have purchasing access as well. On Sunday, June 8, the general public will be able to hit Ticketmaster for purchases (213-480-3232). Prices range from $300, $125, $65. Proceeds from the sales will benefit the following charities, Double O, Teenage Cancer Trust, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, VH1 Classic Autism campaign. Don’t miss the chance to see the legends live.


Best Rock Scream: Grohl’s Growl

Dave Grohl‘s gang won in both the Hard Rock Performance and Rock Album categories last night. But the gut-wrenching yowl that capped their performance of “The Pretender” could beget a new category: Best Rock Scream. Here’s the clip of the Foos getting furious. What other rock songs have earthshaking wails?


Grammy Predictions: Who Will Win What?


Each year the act of predicting which artists will take home a Grammy becomes one of pop music’s great guessing games. Someone picks a category, and everyone becomes a pundit. That includes us. We want your comments, too. Do you think our choices are right? Watch the show with us this Sunday night, and join our LIVE BLOG commentary right here at 8 pm.


Beyonce: ?Irreplaceable?
This screed about how the value of self-important men begins with a set of instructions: ?To the left, to the left/ Everything you own in a box to the left.? Wonder how Jay-Z took that line?

Foo Fighters: ?The Pretender?
Moderate rock, Dave Grohl-style: loud, passionate, dynamic, classic, and prog. Don?t forget the mildly rousing refrain of ?Who are you?? But, sorry, it?s still boring.

Rihanna: ?Umbrella?
Barbados? answer to Madonna returned with a Jerry Bruckheimer-sized blockbuster of a disc, and this song, which stuck in our heads for the entire summer, was the centerpiece.

Justin Timberlake: ?What Goes Around . . . Comes Around?
When coupled with Timbaland?s production, Justin?s soft-pop R&B added up to a great big rock opera.

Amy Winehouse: ?Rehab?
They tried to make her go to rehab; she said no, no, no. Then she said yes, got some help in London, was denied a U.S. entry visa, and can?t perform at the Grammys. Too bad, since the song so thoroughly sums up the problems of 2007.

WILL WIN: ?Umbrella?


Common: Finding Forever
Half hard, half hippie. Working the poetic tip, he keeps his political and philosophical ideas up front. Kanye’s production, even when it?s florid, does a great job of selling ?em.

Nas: Hip-Hop Is Dead
Big indictment from the Queens MC, but Nas is nothing if not a provocateur. Though it?s not a home run, it?s gripping. And that flow of his can still make your jaw drop.

Jay-Z: Kingdom Come
Jigga bounced back, and there were lots of sharp moments, but it also felt like the true glory days of this mic fiend are gone. The American Gangster soundtrack is way stronger.

TI: T.I. vs T.I.P.
Yep, Mr. Split Personality may have been at war with himself, but that tension provided for revealing glimpse into the king of Dirty South?s psyche.

Kanye West: Graduation
Haughty is as haughty does. Hip-hop?s most reliable MC hasn?t given up on positioning himself as hip-hop?s most successful MC. But his bluster has oodles of creativity behind it, no question.

SHOULD WIN: Graduation
WILL WIN: Graduation

“Best New Artist” category after the jump.

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